My desire is for you to free yourself from the stress that poor financial decisions can bring. I understand what it feels like to lie awake at night because I don’t know how I’m going to pay a bill. I remember that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I opened the mail. I also know how good it feels to take the car to the shop and know I’ve got it covered. But, if you get your money under control, and then become a scrooge with it, you have done nothing but create a burning hole in your own heart. The key is to have an open hand, or a generous spirit.
I have met 3 millionaires in my life. One was a single man who wouldn’t take a girl out for coffee for fear she was a gold-digger. The others were a married couple who lived modestly, and unexpectedly blessed me financially multiple times. The couple lived with what I call an open hand. They saw their wealth as a way to bless others around them, and showed great generosity.
We want to get our finances under control, use our money wisely, and kiss that financial stress goodbye. Why? So that we can be in a position to have an open hand, a generous spirit. Money isn’t meant to stay in our tightly clenched fist. I have never forgotten a certain scene in the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Elsa is hanging off a cliff while Indiana is trying to save her. But, she sees that the holy grail is just out of her reach. She lets go of Indiana to reach the grail, and inevitably falls to her death. Why?! It makes no logical sense because money can’t be eaten when we are hungry. It won’t comfort us when we are sad. It won’t keep us warm on a chilly day. We have to let go of it to eat, or stay warm. When Elsa reached for treasure instead of life, she demonstrated the potential power that money can have over us. We must be forewarned, and thus forearmed. When we get control of our finances, and have more money, we must fight this possessive power with generosity.
As we embark on this journey to improve our financial status, more money cannot be our goal! Our goal must be an open hand. If I have food in my fridge and my bills paid, and some money for a rainy day, it is that much easier to reach out to someone without food in their fridge. (We don’t have to wait for surplus funds to be generous, though. Learn from the widow and her mite.)
He sat down opposite the treasury and began watching how the people were putting money into the offering box. Many rich people were putting in a lot. Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. Calling His disciples over, He said to them, “Amen, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those contributing to the box! For they all put in from their surplus; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had, her whole living.”
So what do I mean by an open hand? It certainly does not mean I am selfishly expecting someone to fill my hand. Rather, when the money comes in, I receive it in my hand, take what I need, and then open my hand to share with others. Some people call this karma, or paying it forward. The Bible calls it true religion.
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
I want to encourage you, as you become more money wise, to keep an open hand, and never forget those who have shown an open hand to you, no matter how small the gesture.
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